Discover the Lorry You Can Drive on a Car Licence Today

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If you are looking to drive a lorry on a car licence, it can be a bit confusing to know what is allowed and what isn’t. However, with the right knowledge and understanding, it is possible to drive a lorry on a standard car licence without needing to take any additional tests.

At the heart of this topic is understanding the weight limits of your car licence and what categories of vehicles you are permitted to drive. But fear not, we’re here to help you discover the lorry you can drive on a car licence today.

In this article, we’ll break down the types of lorries you can drive on a standard car licence, as well as what additional qualifications you may need if you want to drive larger vehicles. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of the options available to you and the steps you can take to upgrade your licence if needed. So let’s dive in!

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Know the weight limits of your car licence

If you’re planning to drive a lorry on a car licence, it’s crucial to know the weight limits that your licence allows. The law states that a category B car licence permits you to drive vehicles that weigh up to 3,500kg. However, it’s worth noting that this weight limit includes the weight of the vehicle, plus any passengers, fuel, and cargo. In other words, you need to be aware of the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of the lorry you’re planning to drive.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you’re towing a trailer with your lorry, the combined weight of the trailer and the lorry must not exceed 3,500kg. If you’re planning to drive a lorry that weighs more than this, you’ll need to obtain a different licence, such as a category C licence.

Another important consideration is the weight of the individual axles of the lorry. Your car licence only allows you to drive a vehicle with a maximum axle weight of 2,000kg. If the lorry you’re planning to drive has axles that exceed this weight, you’ll need to obtain a different licence.

It’s also worth noting that the weight limits of your car licence are not just limited to lorries. If you’re planning to drive a camper van, for example, you’ll need to ensure that the vehicle doesn’t exceed the weight limit of 3,500kg. Otherwise, you’ll need to obtain a different licence.

Knowing the weight limits of your car licence is essential when it comes to driving a lorry on the road. If you’re unsure about the weight limits or have any questions, it’s best to seek advice from a qualified driving instructor or your local driving authority.

Understanding the weight limits for standard driving licence

Vehicle CategoryMaximum Authorised Mass (MAM)
Category B3,500 kg
Category B + E4,250 kg
Category C17,500 kg
Category C1 + E12,000 kg
Category C32,000 kg
Category C + E44,000 kg

When it comes to driving licences, the maximum authorised mass (MAM) is the key weight limit. It refers to the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo. Drivers with a standard category B car licence can drive a vehicle with a MAM of up to 3,500 kg, while those with category B + E can drive vehicles with a MAM of up to 4,250 kg.

If you passed your car driving test before January 1997, you may have category C1 entitlement on your licence, allowing you to drive vehicles with a MAM of up to 7,500 kg. However, if you passed after that date, you would need to take an additional test to obtain the C1 category.

It’s worth noting that the MAM is not the same as the weight of the vehicle itself, and it’s important to ensure that you don’t exceed this limit. Overloading a vehicle can lead to increased wear and tear on the tyres and brakes, reduced fuel efficiency, and can even result in fines or other penalties.

It’s also important to be aware that the weight of any trailer being towed counts towards the MAM limit, which means that it’s easy to exceed the weight limit without realising it. Before you set off on a journey, make sure you check the MAM of your vehicle and any trailer, and ensure that you’re not exceeding your licence entitlement.

How to find out the weight of your vehicle

Before you start driving, it’s important to know the weight of your vehicle. You can find this information on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate. Look for the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) or the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) on the plate.

If you don’t have access to the VIN plate, you can look for the vehicle handbook or contact the manufacturer to find out the weight of your vehicle. This information will help you determine whether you can legally drive a specific type of lorry on your car licence.

  • Check the GVW or MAM: Look for the weight of your vehicle on the VIN plate
  • Refer to the vehicle handbook: If you don’t have access to the VIN plate, check the handbook for weight information
  • Contact the manufacturer: If you’re still unsure, contact the manufacturer for weight information
  • Use an online weight checker: There are several websites that offer weight checking services for vehicles. These can be useful if you’re still unsure about the weight of your vehicle.
  • Weigh your vehicle: If all else fails, you can take your vehicle to a weighbridge to determine its weight.

By knowing the weight of your vehicle, you can make sure you’re driving a lorry that you’re legally permitted to drive on your car licence.

What is category B on your licence?

If you are interested in driving a lorry, you need to know what your licence category means. Category B on your driving licence allows you to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) and with up to eight passenger seats, in addition to the driver’s seat.

Maximising your vehicle weight limit: You need to know that the 3,500kg MAM limit is inclusive of the weight of the vehicle and any load it carries. If you carry a heavy load, you need to make sure that the weight of the vehicle and load combined is within the maximum limit of 3,500kg.

How category B differs from category C1: The category C1 on your licence allows you to drive a lorry with a maximum weight of 7,500kg. However, if you have passed your driving test after January 1997, you can only drive a lorry with a maximum weight of 3,500kg.

Do you need a specialist licence for a larger lorry? If you want to drive a lorry with a weight of over 3,500kg, you need to get a specialist licence. There are various categories of licence depending on the type of lorry you want to drive.

What is the age requirement for category B licence? To get a category B licence, you need to be at least 17 years old. However, if you want to drive a lorry with a weight of over 3,500kg, you need to be at least 18 years old and hold a specialist licence.

What category B includes

If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, you should have automatic rights to drive vehicles in category B. This includes vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes in weight and with up to 8 passenger seats, plus a trailer up to 750kg in weight.

If you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997, your driving licence will include category B, but with some restrictions. You can still drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, but you can only tow trailers up to 750kg in weight.

If you want to tow a trailer weighing more than 750kg, you’ll need to take an additional test to obtain a B+E licence.

Other types of vehicles you can drive with a category B licence

Caravans and trailers: With a category B licence, you can tow a caravan or trailer with a maximum weight of 750kg. If you want to tow a heavier caravan or trailer, you will need to take an additional driving test to obtain a category B+E licence.

Quad bikes: You can drive a quad bike with a category B licence as long as it has a maximum unladen weight of 550kg.

Motor tricycles: If you are over the age of 21 and have held a category B licence for at least two years, you can drive a motor tricycle with a power output of up to 15kW.

Small vans: A category B licence also allows you to drive a small van weighing up to 3,500kg. This means you can use it for commercial purposes such as delivery services.

If you are unsure about what type of vehicle you can drive with your licence, it’s important to check with the DVLA or seek advice from a professional driving instructor. It’s also worth noting that different rules apply depending on when you passed your driving test and where you plan to drive, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest regulations.

How to upgrade your category B licence

If you want to drive vehicles that are heavier than 3,500kg or that have more than eight passenger seats, you will need to upgrade your category B licence. Here are the steps you can take:

  1. Check your eligibility: To upgrade your licence, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a full category B driving licence.
  2. Take a medical exam: You will need to pass a medical exam to ensure that you are fit to drive the type of vehicle you want to drive.
  3. Pass a theory test: You will need to pass a theory test that is specific to the type of vehicle you want to drive.
  4. Pass a practical test: You will need to pass a practical driving test that is specific to the type of vehicle you want to drive.

Note that upgrading your licence can be costly, as you may need to take additional driving lessons and pay for the medical and theory tests, as well as the practical driving test.

However, if you need to drive heavier vehicles or vehicles with more passenger seats for work or personal reasons, upgrading your licence can be a valuable investment that will allow you to expand your driving opportunities and potentially increase your earning potential.

Now that you know how to upgrade your category B licence, you can start planning your next steps and work towards getting the licence you need to drive the vehicles you want.

What type of lorry can you drive on a car licence?

Small lorries: If you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997, you may automatically have category C1 on your licence, which allows you to drive a lorry with a weight of up to 7.5 tonnes. If you passed your test after this date, you can drive a lorry with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes.

Campervans: Some campervans can be driven on a standard driving licence, as long as they fall within the weight limits for category B. Check the weight of the campervan and the weight limit for your licence before driving.

Horseboxes: Some horseboxes can be driven on a standard driving licence, as long as they fall within the weight limits for category B. Check the weight of the horsebox and the weight limit for your licence before driving.

Recovery vehicles: If you need to drive a recovery vehicle as part of your job, you may be able to do so on a standard driving licence, as long as the vehicle does not weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.

Electric or hybrid lorries: Electric or hybrid lorries that meet certain weight and size criteria can be driven on a standard car licence. These vehicles are becoming more common as part of efforts to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Knowing the weight limits of your licence and the type of vehicle you can drive can save you from legal and safety issues. Now that you have an idea of what types of lorries you can drive on a car licence, you can make an informed decision before taking on the wheel. However, it’s always important to double-check the weight of the vehicle before driving, especially if you’re transporting goods or passengers.

The weight and size restrictions of a category B licence

  • 3.5 tonnes maximum weight: The standard category B licence allows you to drive vehicles with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes. This includes the weight of the vehicle, passengers, fuel and any goods being carried.

  • Trailer weight limit: If you want to tow a trailer with your category B licence, the combined weight of your car and trailer must be no more than 3.5 tonnes.

  • Vehicle length and width: There are no specific length and width restrictions for vehicles you can drive with a category B licence, but you must be able to control the vehicle safely and comply with road regulations.

  • Passenger limit: The number of passengers you can carry in your car is limited to the number of seats available, and everyone must wear a seatbelt.

It’s important to note that if you want to drive larger vehicles or tow heavier trailers, you may need to obtain additional licences or certifications, such as a category C licence for lorries or a category B+E licence for larger trailers.

Examples of lorries that can be driven on a category B licence

Although there are weight and size restrictions for category B licence holders, there are still many types of lorries that can be driven. Some examples include:

  • Small lorries: These can range from 3.5 tonnes up to 7.5 tonnes in weight and are often used for local deliveries or small business use.
  • Pickup trucks: Pickup trucks with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes can be driven on a category B licence.
  • Horseboxes: Horseboxes with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes can be driven on a category B licence, provided there are no more than 8 passenger seats.
  • Campervans: Category B licence holders can drive campervans with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes.
  • Utility vehicles: Utility vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tonnes can also be driven on a category B licence.

It’s important to note that the weight and size restrictions for category B licence holders may vary depending on the country and jurisdiction you are driving in, so it’s always best to check with your local driving authorities to ensure you are driving legally and safely.

Considerations for driving a larger lorry on a category B licence

  • Experience: If you have only ever driven cars before, it may take some time to get used to the size and weight of a larger lorry. Consider taking a training course before you start driving to build your confidence.
  • Insurance: Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover you in case of an accident. Your current car insurance may not be enough, so check with your provider.
  • License restrictions: While you can legally drive some larger lorries on a category B license, there are still restrictions on weight and size. Make sure you know the limits and stay within them.

Driving a larger lorry on a category B license can be a big responsibility, but with proper training, insurance, and knowledge of the limitations, it can be done safely and legally. Always remember to drive carefully and follow the rules of the road.

Can you drive a horsebox on a car licence?

If you own horses and are considering transporting them, you may wonder whether you can drive a horsebox on a car licence. The answer depends on the weight of the horsebox and the number of horses it can carry.

As a general rule, if the horsebox weighs less than 3.5 tonnes and can carry up to two horses, you can drive it on a standard car licence, category B. If the horsebox is heavier or carries more than two horses, you will need to upgrade your licence to a category C1 licence.

It’s important to note that while you may be able to drive a horsebox on a car licence, it’s still essential to ensure that you’re adequately insured and have the correct driving skills and knowledge to safely transport your horses.

Requirements for driving a horsebox on a car licence

Driving a horsebox on a car licence is allowed under certain conditions. The first requirement is that you must have a full category B driving licence, which permits you to drive vehicles with a maximum weight of 3,500kg. This weight includes the weight of the vehicle, any passengers, and any cargo, including horses.

The second requirement is that the horsebox itself must not exceed certain size restrictions. The maximum length for a horsebox is 7 meters and the maximum width is 2.55 meters. Additionally, the vehicle must be fitted with an appropriate braking system capable of bringing the weight of the vehicle and horses to a safe stop.

It is also important to note that when transporting horses, you have certain legal obligations. These include making sure the animals are well-cared for, safe, and secure during transport. You should also ensure that the horses have adequate space, ventilation, and are not overloaded.

Weight limits for horseboxes on a car licence

If you are driving a horsebox on a category B licence, you must ensure that you do not exceed the weight limits. The weight limit for a horsebox on a category B licence is 3.5 tonnes, which includes the weight of the horsebox and the horses inside it.

It is important to note that exceeding the weight limit can result in fines and penalty points on your licence. It can also lead to more serious consequences such as an accident, damage to the vehicle, and injury to yourself or others.

Do you need additional qualifications to drive larger lorries?

If you want to drive a larger lorry, you will need to obtain additional qualifications beyond a standard driving licence. The exact requirements depend on the weight and size of the vehicle you want to drive, as well as the type of cargo you will be transporting.

CPC – If the vehicle has a gross weight of over 3.5 tonnes, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in addition to your standard driving licence. This includes passing a series of tests covering both theory and practical skills.

Tachograph – You may also need to be familiar with the use of a tachograph, which records the amount of time a driver spends behind the wheel. Lorries over a certain weight are required to use a tachograph to comply with EU driving regulations.

ADR – If you are transporting hazardous goods, you may need to obtain an ADR (Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route) certificate, which certifies that you have received proper training on the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

DQC – If you are driving professionally, you will also need to have a Driver Qualification Card (DQC), which is proof that you have completed the necessary training for professional drivers. This is in addition to the CPC qualification mentioned earlier.

Insurance – It’s worth noting that driving a larger lorry also often requires additional insurance coverage, which can be more expensive than standard car insurance. You may need to check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the appropriate coverage for the vehicle you will be driving.

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements

What is the Driver CPC?

The Driver CPC is a qualification that all professional lorry, bus and coach drivers must have in addition to their driving licence. It was introduced to improve road safety and ensure that drivers have the knowledge and skills needed to operate these vehicles safely and efficiently.

What are the requirements for obtaining a Driver CPC?

To obtain a Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of periodic training. This training must be completed every 5 years to ensure that your knowledge and skills remain up-to-date. If you do not complete the required training, you will not be able to continue driving professionally.

Additional licences required for driving larger lorries

If you want to drive a lorry larger than the weight and size limits of a category B licence, you may need to obtain additional licences.

The most common licence required is the category C licence, also known as a Class 2 licence. This licence allows you to drive rigid lorries weighing between 3.5 and 32 tonnes with a trailer weighing up to 750kg.

If you want to drive articulated lorries weighing over 3.5 tonnes, you will need a category C+E licence, also known as a Class 1 licence. This licence allows you to drive articulated lorries with a trailer weighing more than 750kg.

Obtaining a category C or C+E licence requires additional training and testing, including a practical driving test and a theory test. You will also need to meet certain medical and age requirements.

It’s important to note that if you are driving a larger lorry for work purposes, you may also need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in addition to your licence. This is a qualification that demonstrates that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to drive a large vehicle safely and efficiently.

Training courses to drive larger lorries

LGV training courses: LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) training courses are designed for drivers who want to obtain an LGV licence, which enables them to drive larger lorries. These courses usually include both theoretical and practical training, covering topics such as vehicle maintenance, safety, and driving techniques.

Driver CPC training: In addition to obtaining an LGV licence, drivers of larger lorries may also need to complete a Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) training course. This course is designed to improve road safety and driver skills, and includes both theoretical and practical training.

Company training: Some companies that operate larger lorries may offer their own training courses for drivers. These courses may be tailored to the specific types of vehicles that the company uses, and may also include training on company policies and procedures.

Refresher training: For drivers who have been out of the industry for some time, or who want to improve their skills and knowledge, refresher training courses may be available. These courses can help drivers to update their skills and knowledge of current regulations and best practices.

Hazard perception training: Hazard perception training is designed to improve a driver’s ability to identify and respond to hazards on the road. This type of training can be particularly useful for drivers of larger lorries, who may face unique challenges on the road.

How to upgrade your licence to drive larger lorries?

If you want to drive a larger lorry that is not covered by your current licence, you will need to upgrade your licence. Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Check your current licence – Before you upgrade, you need to make sure you have a valid car licence, and you should also check your entitlements to see which vehicles you are currently licensed to drive.

Step 2: Pass the theory and practical tests – To upgrade your licence, you will need to pass a theory test and a practical test for the category of vehicle you want to drive.

Step 3: Obtain the necessary training and certification – Depending on the type of lorry you want to drive, you may need to complete additional training and obtain certification. For example, if you want to drive a lorry for commercial purposes, you will need to obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

Upgrading your licence can be a lengthy and expensive process, but it is necessary if you want to drive larger lorries. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you are properly licensed and qualified to operate these vehicles safely and legally.

Steps to upgrade your licence for larger lorries

If you want to upgrade your licence to drive larger lorries, there are several steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Check your current licence category. Make sure you have a valid category B driving licence.

Step 2: Apply for provisional entitlement to the higher category licence you wish to obtain, such as category C or C+E.

Step 3: Pass a medical examination and apply for a provisional licence. You may need to submit a D4 medical form completed by a doctor.

Step 4: Prepare for and pass the theory test and practical driving test for the category you want to add to your licence.

Step 5: Apply for the full licence once you have passed both tests. You may also need to complete the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) if you plan to drive professionally.

Costs involved in upgrading your licence

Upgrading your driving licence to drive larger lorries can be a costly process. The first cost is likely to be the cost of training and taking the necessary tests. The cost of a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) course can vary, but it can cost several hundred pounds. The practical driving test for larger lorries can also be expensive, costing up to £115 for a weekday test or £141 for an evening, weekend or bank holiday test.

It’s also important to consider the costs of the larger lorry itself. A larger lorry can be significantly more expensive to purchase, insure and maintain than a car or smaller vehicle. Additionally, there may be additional costs for fuel, tolls, and parking when driving a larger lorry.

Finally, it’s important to consider any ongoing costs associated with driving a larger lorry. Depending on the type of lorry and how it’s used, there may be additional maintenance costs, such as regular safety checks and repairs. Additionally, if you’re using the lorry for work purposes, you may need to pay for additional insurance or tax.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weight limit for lorries that can be driven on a car licence?

The weight limit for lorries that can be driven on a car licence is 3.5 tonnes. This includes the weight of the vehicle, any passengers, and the load being carried.

Can a driver with a car licence tow a trailer with a lorry on it?

Yes, a driver with a car licence can tow a trailer with a lorry on it as long as the combined weight of the vehicle and the trailer does not exceed 3.5 tonnes. However, if the combined weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes, the driver will need to obtain a different licence.

Are there any other restrictions on driving a lorry with a car licence?

Yes, there are some other restrictions on driving a lorry with a car licence. For example, the lorry cannot be used for commercial purposes and must only be used for personal use or for carrying goods that are not being sold.

Can a driver with a car licence drive a horsebox?

Yes, a driver with a car licence can drive a horsebox as long as the weight of the vehicle, any passengers, and the load being carried does not exceed 3.5 tonnes. If the weight exceeds this limit, the driver will need to obtain a different licence.

Is any special training required to drive a lorry on a car licence?

No, special training is not required to drive a lorry on a car licence as long as the weight of the vehicle, any passengers, and the load being carried does not exceed 3.5 tonnes. However, if the weight exceeds this limit, the driver will need to undergo training and obtain a different licence.

What are the penalties for driving a lorry that exceeds the weight limit of a car licence?

The penalties for driving a lorry that exceeds the weight limit of a car licence can include fines, points on the driver’s licence, and disqualification from driving. In some cases, the driver may also face criminal charges.

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